A federal judge has continued the jury trial of an accused heroin dealer with ties to a former St. Clair County judge facing drug and firearm charges.
U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan on Wednesday granted Sean McGilvery’s request to push back his July 29 jury trial and continued it until 9 a.m. Sept. 16.
McGilvery requested a 60-day continuance in a motion filed Tuesday that noted his attorney, Ronald Holmes of St. Louis, received discovery in the case late last month and that it consists of 10 CDs, the first one of which contains more than 1,900 pages of documents.
He asked for more time so Holmes “could adequately review discovery with defendant, perform investigations, interview any potential witnesses, and consult with defendant regarding his decision to proceed to trial or dispose of this matter by plea of guilty.”
Reagan wrote in his order that McGilvery’s motion offered “several compelling reasons for a continuance” and determined that “the ends of justice served by the continuance clearly outweigh the best interests of the public and defendant in a speedy trial.”
Federal prosecutors, the order states, did not object to McGilvery’s request.
McGilvery was arrested in May, the same month former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook and James Fogarty, a former St. Clair County probation office employee, were arrested on drug charges.
Cook was arrested at McGilvery’s residence and charged with possession of heroin and being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms.
Fogarty is accused of supplying drugs to Cook and the late Circuit Judge Joseph Christ, who died in March of cocaine toxicity at Cook’s Pike County hunting cabin.
All three men were charged by complaint in May. Fogarty and McGilvery were indicted last month by a federal grand jury.
Fogarty was arraigned on Monday, when he pleaded not guilty to possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver and being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm. Reagan set his trial for August 26.
McGilvery was arraigned last month on the charge of conspiring to distribute and possess more than 1 kilogram of heroin with the intent to deliver. He pleaded not guilty and was given a July 29 trial date, which Reagan today continued until September.
Cook, who stepped down from the bench in May to attend drug treatment, has also pleaded not guilty to his charges. U.S. District Judge William Stiehl last month continued Cook’s July 15 trial until Oct. 1.